Archive for Thursday, May 27, 2010

Community garden closer to becoming reality

May 27, 2010

If all goes according to plan, by this time next year a community garden will be popping up plenty of vegetables and other plants.

The Baldwin City Business and Professional Women’s group suggested the idea to the Baldwin City Council’s economic development committee recently. Council Member Bonnie Plumberg, who leads that committee, told the council about it and the community garden idea was embraced.

But there were a lot of unanswered questions. That’s why the subject was tabled at last week’s council meeting. Since then, City Administrator Jeff Dingman and Public Works Director Bill Winegar reviewed possible city-owned sites for the garden and came up with one.

“We identified up to one acre over north of the (Oakwood) cemetery, off of Third Street,” said Dingman. “I think they initially plan to start with a 100-foot-by-200-foot piece of ground.”

According to Plumberg, the BPW group wants to offer the space for anyone in the community who doesn’t have room for a garden at home. The group is applying for a grant that will provide funding for the effort, but won’t know about that for awhile.

After finding the site for the garden, Dingman was able to draw up a lease, which will be voted on at the council’s next meeting on June 7. It had been tabled at last week’s meeting because of a lack of a site.

“I worked out the lease for a year at a nominal fee — $1 per month — and the BPW will be required to pay to install the water and carry insurance. If or when they want to expand what they’re doing, we’ll revisit the lease arrangement.”

Once the lease is approved, BPW will be able to start with early work on the garden. Mayor Ken Wagner has already committed to providing equipment for the work.

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